Understanding Urban Dynamics of Informal and Formal Market Spaces as Emergent Infrastructures: Self- Organisation Processes of Urban Growth and the use of Collective Spaces in the African City – the case of
Onitsha Markets, Nigeria.

The research project’s objective is to obtain critical insight of possibilities and constraints in the use of Collective Spaces of informal and formal market spaces, understood as emergent infrastructure and part of self-organisation processes within the development of Onitsha city, in Nigeria. Onitsha is a rapidly growing city and comprises conglomeration of markets that amidst limited conventional urban infrastructure, drive and define the uncontrolled exponential urban growth patterns within the city and its periphery. The research seeks to understand why and how these markets, and their constituting collective spaces, are inextricably interwoven with the city’s transformation, growth, spatial experience and liveability. Analysis of morphological and functional components of the collective spaces of the market clusters and their accessibility in relation to the social, cultural and economic existing contextual layers will be conducted. The research findings will contribute to discourses on emerging cities of global south urbanisation and development processes and will detect possible strategies for future resilient transformation.

PhD project, Vincent Chukwuemeka (prom. prof. Kris Scheerlinck, co-prom. prof. Yves Schoonjans, co-prom. prof. Ike Onyegiri)